What Are Your Car Brakes Saying? How to Identify Different Issues By Sound

You brakes were not designed to make noises on purpose. If you are hearing noises when you brake, there's a problem. There are a few brake issues that can be diagnosed easily simply by how the brakes sound when you try to use them. Since you may not be able to let your mechanic drive your car around to hear it for themselves, it can be helpful if you can give a mechanic, like Buettner Tire & Auto, some idea of what might be going wrong based on what you heard. 


This will sound like you're slowly running over an angry cat. That scraping, gurgling, or mewling noise is often a sign that your brakes are dirty. As you drive, it is possible for dust, dirt, and other debris to get lodged under the brake discs. This means that when you stop, the debris is being crushed and rolling along the disc as it slows. A simple cleaning should have your brakes back to their glorious silence in no time. 

Loud Grinding

When you hear a louder grinding sound (possibly without the gurgling or mewling noise), something a lot bigger than dirt has crept in under your calipers. Another possibility is that your brakes are worn and need to be replaced. In this situation, the grinding would be due to the rotor disc and caliper actually touching. Loud grinding means it's time to see a mechanic as soon as possible. 


Sometimes, when you pull your foot off of the brake, you may hear what sounds like someone shaking a can of spray paint. This is often not a major issue and has to do with your brake pads expanding in hot weather. However, if you find yourself hearing this noise when you apply the brake, or if you're hearing this noise the majority of the times that you take your foot off of the brake, it could be a more drastic issue and should be inspected by a certified mechanic as soon as possible.  

High-pitched Squealing

This sound will mimic nails on a chalkboard. When you hear it, it usually means that something is missing or loose on your brakes because they're are vibrating very fast in order to make such as high-pitched sound. 

Taking care of your brakes is essential for the safety of your car, your passengers, and yourself. Being familiar with these sounds can give you an idea of what is going on with your brakes so that you can know what kind of repair bill to expect and how fast you need to get to a mechanic!